2 new Kenyan envoys finally take up jobs abroad

February 22, 2019 (4 weeks ago) 1:48 pm
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Sarah Serem and President Xi. Photo/CCTV screen grab.

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 22 – Two newly appointed ambassadors have reported to their respective missions, a month after receiving a final briefing by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Former Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) Chairperson reported to China on Wednesday when she presented her credentials to President Xi Jinping.

Immediate former Air Force Commander Major General Samuel Thuita started ambassadorial duties in Israel last Thursday when he presented his letters of credence to President Reuven Rivlin.

Ex-Director of Criminal Investigations Ndegwa Muhoro, former legislator Paddy Ahenda, and Johnson Kimani Ondieki are yet to present their credentials in Malaysia, Qatar and Turkey respectively.

The delayed posting of the envoys had given rise to speculations that some of the diplomats had been rejected.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs had denied the reports saying the newly inducted envoys were going through preliminary processes before meeting Heads of State in the nations they have been deployed to.

“Current deployments of envoys are within conventional timelines consistent with global practice. Modalities for preparation of the deployment are ongoing,” MFA said on February 7 following a report published on a local daily.

The Foreign Ministry had on February 7 assured all the new diplomats will present their credentials in due course.

“Kenya has never had any envoy rejected by any country and that is the reality with the cohort of the Heads of Mission. Every country schedules the presentation ceremonies at specific times depending on their traditions and availability of the Head of State,” the ministry said.

The five ambassadorial deployments are second during President Uhuru Kenyatta’s second term.

Six former Cabinet Secretaries were posted to Kenyan missions abroad last year after Kenyatta reshuffled his cabinet.

Jacob Kaimenyi (Lands), Judy Wakhungu (Environment), Willy Bett (Agriculture), Dan Kazungu (Mining), Cleopa Mailu (Health), Phyllis Kandie (EAC) – assumed ambassadorial duties in Belgium, France, India, Tanzania, UN (Geneva), and UNESCO respectively.

Bett started his tour of duty in India on July 11 last year when presented his credentials to President Nath Kovind, at his official residence, Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Wakhungu presented her credential to French President Emmanuel Macron on August 31, at the Élysée Palace.

The envoys are expected to lead the charge in pursuit of new partners for the implementation of President Kenyatta’s four-fold development plan entailing food security, enhanced manufacturing, affordable housing, and universal healthcare.

CS Juma had in the past indicated that Kenya was aiming to cast its net wider to create new development partnerships as it “mapped the world for partners to leverage on the implementation of the four development pillars.”

“We’re conducting the global mapping exercise to establish the competitive advantage for services and secondly to identify partners who are able to work with our private sector as well as the government to deliver on this agenda at the optimal cost and within the shortest possible time,” she said during her inaugural media briefing in March last year.

The ministry has also set out to open 16 new diplomatic stations among them six missions in Africa over the next three years.

The opening of the new embassies was approved by the Cabinet in May last year in a bid to boost Kenya’s diplomatic footprint which is seen as critical in securing partnerships in the delivery of President Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda.

In Africa, Kenya will open six full resident Missions in Accra, Abidjan, Dakar, Djibouti, Maputo and Rabat; four consulates in Goma, Lagos, Arusha and Cape Town and two liaison offices in Kismayu and Hargeisa.

A new embassy will be opened in Jakarta in the Asian region with new consulates earmarked in Mumbai (India), as well as Guangzhou and Shanghai both in China.

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